Alpha vs. Beta: Here's one for the nice guys

Beta males are unfairly maligned in today’s society. They’ve gotten a  rep for being spineless doormats who can’t escape from the friend box long enough to get laid, much less get a girlfriend. However, our understanding of social rank in the animal kingdom is a little off. We all know that alpha males are the top dog, thanks to The Lion King. But, here’s the true order of things:

A beta animal is an animal that will act as a new alpha animal if the old alpha dies. In some species of birds, the males pair up in twos when courting, the beta male aiding the alpha male. The beta male does not generally get to mate with the female birds, but if the alpha dies, he takes over the alpha’s females, becoming the new alpha.

Omega (usually rendered ω-male) is an antonym used to refer to the lowest caste of the hierarchical society. An omega is subordinated to all others in the community. The omega is commonly the last allowed to eat.”– Alpha (ethology), from Wikipedia

Beta males have borne the unfair brunt of our derision all this time when it’s really the Omega males that you want to stay away from. The fact is, Beta males are the ideal mates. Alpha males come with problems. Men want to be him, so they constantly challenge his primacy. Women want to be with him, so his mate is always fighting off encroachments. And let’s face it, their egos are a force to be reckoned with. But Beta males have a dose desirability and competence without all the drama. They aren’t doing stupid stuff to prove their masculinity, the groupie levels are much reduced, and they probably won’t mind helping you with the housework.

Unfortunately, biological directives drive much of our relationship decision making. During the childbearing years, women are irresistibly attracted men who have the hallmarks of success in the animal kingdom—height/size, strength, aggression, and ability to provide. Men who don’t display these traits to the fullest extent are passed over for the ones who do. When fertility starts to drop and women’s hormones calm down enough for them to realize that logically, the guy who can get you knocked up the fastest may not be the best long term father and life partner, Beta males start to look much more attractive. It’s a rare woman who realizes early on that Alpha males can be more trouble than they’re worth.

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